The Results Act:

Observations on the Postal Service's Preliminary Annual Performance Plan

GGD-98-144: Published: Jul 10, 1998. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1998.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Bernard L. Ungar
(202) 512-4232
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Postal Service's preliminary annual performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999.

GAO noted that: (1) the Postal Service's preliminary performance plan provides a partial picture of the Service's intended performance for FY 1999; (2) although the preliminary plan generally has performance goals and related measures that are quantifiable and results-oriented, the plan could be more helpful if it: (a) articulated current performance levels, or baselines, from which to gauge progress; and (b) more clearly linked program activities in the Postal Service's budget to performance goals; (3) in addition, the plan could better link particular strategies and resources to performance goals; (4) without clear linkages in these areas, it may be difficult for stakeholders reviewing the plan to understand how the Postal Service intends to achieve its goals; (5) the plan does a good job of discussing how the Postal Service plans to measure and review results and recognizes the role of management and some stakeholders, such as the Inspector General, in reviewing and evaluating programs; and (6) however, the plan is relatively silent on how the Postal Service plans to verify and validate the data that will be used to measure results to provide confidence that its performance information will be credible.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service discussed how it plans to ensure that the data used to track performance goals is verified and validated.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to discuss steps that the Postal Service plans to take to ensure that the data used to measure performance are both verifiable and valid.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In the final version of the Postal Service's Annual Performance Plan, the Service expanded its discussion of the strategies that will be used to achieve its major performance goals. In addition, the Service identified the additional financial resources that will be needed to meet the proposed voice of the customer performance targets in its FY 1999 budget.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to more completely link strategies and resources for achieving goals with the performance goals discussed in the preliminary plan.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service elaborated on its mission to better link to its mission statement in the Postal Service's Five-Year Strategic Plan.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to fully articulate the Postal Service mission as stated in the strategic plan so that readers can more clearly understand the link between the two documents.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service discussed additional resources allocated in its FY 1999 budget to achieve various timely delivery performance goals for FY 1999.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to start the process to develop and communicate linkages, including incremental adjustments as the linkages are developed, between the Postal Service budget and the performance goals in the performance plan.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service included information on current performance levels for its major performance goals so that future progress could be gauged.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to include current levels of performance, or baselines, so that readers can gauge the Postal Service's progress in achieving its goals.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service included additional information recommended by GAO that helps the plan to more fully meet the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act.

    Recommendation: The Postmaster General should modify the preliminary performance plan so that the Postal Service's final performance plan for FY 1999 more fully conforms with the Government Performance and Results Act and gives stakeholders and decisionmakers a better framework for gauging the Service's performance.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its final FY 1999 Annual Performance Plan, the Postal Service identified several challenges and external factors that could affect the ability of the Postal Service to realize its FY 1999 goals. These factors included changing customer requirements, substitute technologies and electronic diversion, labor/management relations and the possibility of legislative reform.

    Recommendation: In developing the final performance plan, the Postmaster General should take steps to discuss external factors and major management problems that could impede the Service's ability to achieve its intended goals and how the Service plans to address such impediments.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 27, 2016

Sep 26, 2016

Sep 23, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 30, 2016

Aug 11, 2016

Jul 22, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here